Japan’s leading ace, Masahiro Tanaka (35, Rakuten Golden Eagles), received a significant salary cut.
Japan’s Sports Hochi ‘On the 7th, Tanaka signed a one-year contract for 475 million yen (4.53 billion won), a cut of 425 million yen (4.05 billion won) from 900 million yen (8.58 billion won). This is the second largest reduction in history (based on the same club) following 450 million yen (4.29 billion won) of Toshiya Sugiuchi (then Yomiuri Giants) in 2016,’ he said. Tanaka, who returned from the American Major League (MLB), wore a Rakuten uniform with a two-year contract in January 2021. This winter, when all contracts were over, I set up a salary negotiation table and was presented with significantly reduced conditions. He is known to have calmly accepted the cuts, saying, “I did not meet the club’s expectations.”
Tanaka is one of the legends produced by Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). He debuted in NPB in 2007, played until 2013, and played in MLB from 2014. He won 112 wins (56 losses) in NPB and 78 wins (46 losses) in MLB, leaving only 10 wins out of 200 wins in the US and Japan. However, after his return to Japan, his performance fell short of expectations. He only had 4 wins (9 losses) in 2021, and last year he went 9-12 with an earned run average of 3.31. He was not even listed on the World Baseball Classic (WBC) final 12-man list announced on the 6th. There is a possibility of being included in the final 30-man roster, but it seems that his position has narrowed due to “young blood” such as Roki Sasaki (Chiba Lotte Marines) and Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix Buffaloes).